Blast Resistant Design

Full Session with Abstracts

338132-6 - Test Methods and key parameter for blast dampers

Saturday, April 21
10:00 AM - 11:30 AM
Location: 202CD

Most commercial buildings have openings in the building envelope that are used to allow for intake and exhaust of air. In order to allow the free flow of air yet prevent entry of rain, animals or people, these openings are typically covered by louvers. Because louvers are designed for nearly unimpeded air flow, it is also path for blast load to enter the building. Blast dampers are commonly specified in blast situations to cover these types of openings. Blast dampers are designed to close quickly when a blast load is applied and prevent the full blast load from entering the building and damaging equipment or injuring personnel. Manufactures have been performing blast testing using different methods to show that the damper can survive the loading and to quantify the effectiveness of the damper at preventing load from entering a protected space. There are several key parameters that are important when considering using blast dampers and the testing should chosen to evaluate those parameters.

There is currently no standardized test used to evaluate blast dampers. Some manufactures have in principal followed ASTM F 1642-04 “Standard Test Method for Glazing and Glazing Systems Subject to Airblast Loadings”. Although these tests address the hazards that come from a failing damper these tests fail to directly evaluate how much pressure is prevented from entering the protected space. Due to the nature of dampers, some blast load will enter the protected space while the damper is closing. In a typical situation, the pressure immediately upstream and immediately downstream of the damper will be nearly the same but will diminish as the damper closes. Therefore, dampers can be effective at reducing the duration of the loading. The primary way used to quantify the damper effectiveness is by recording pressure over time upstream and downstream of the damper. The method of reporting this information has varied and may be misinterpreted. This paper defines several key operational parameters important for blast dampers and critiques test methods for evaluating those key parameters.

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338132-6 - Test Methods and key parameter for blast dampers

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